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Toxic Leader


Definition: Toxic Leader is a term coined by leadership expert Jean Lipman-Blumen. She defines it as "an individual who, by virtue of his/her destructive [toxic] behaviors and dysfunctional [toxic] personal qualities, inflicts serious and enduring harm on individuals, groups, organizations, communities and nations that they lead".

Lipman-Blumen believes that the toxic leader exploits their followers’ deep-seated psychological motivations which include the needs for authority, security, the need to feel special as well as the fear of ostracism.


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